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Artist Biography

 Mabel May Woodward was an Impressionist painter best known for her summer garden and beach scenes painted along the New England shore. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Woodward first began her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1896. She later studied in New York at the Art Students League with William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, and Frank DuMond. Woodward also studied with Arthur Wesley Dow and Charles Woodbury at the Ogunquit School of Art in Maine. Although she traveled and painted in Europe, she spent most of her summers in Ogunquit where she painted recreational scenes en plein air. The influence of William Merritt Chase is evident in Woodward’s style. Similar to Chase, Woodward liked colorful canvases, and used bold, unlabored brushstrokes heavy with impasto. She loved painting beach scenes and airy landscapes focusing on the play of light and shadow.

Woodward was the first woman president of the Provincetown Art Club, where she exhibited her paintings extensively. She also exhibited her work at the Boston Art Club, Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Academy of Design. Woodward enjoyed much acclaim from her solo show at the Providence Art Club in 1939. Vose Galleries, Boston, and the El Paso Museum of Art, Texas, held retrospective exhibitions of her work in 1972. Her work is found in the Providence Art Club and the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design, where she taught for several years.